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Full text of "What must we do to be saved? [microform] : a lecture"

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Reprinted from the Chicago Tribune. 



: WHAT MUST WE DO 



TO BE SAVED? 



A LECTUEE 



BY 



ROBERT G. INGERSOLL. 




TORONTO : 
Printed by W. G. Gibson, 

1880. 



"What Must We Do to Be Saved ?" 



Ladies and Gentlemen : 

Fear is the dungeon of the mind, and superstition is a 
dagger with which hypocrisy assassinates the soul. Courage 
is liberty. I am in favor of absolute freedom of th(jught. In 
the realm of the mind every one is a monarch ; every one is 
robed, sceptered, and crowned- — every one wears the purple 
of autiiority. [Applause.] I belong to the republic of in- 
tellectual liberty, and only those are good citizens of that 
republic who depend upon reason and upon persuasion ; and 
only those are traitors who resort to brute force. Now, I 
beg of you all to forget just for a few moments that you are 
Methodists, or Baptists, or Catholics, or Presbyterians, and 
let us for an hour or two remember only that ve are men and 
women. [Applause.] And here allow me to say, man and 
woman are the highest titles that can be bestow^ed upon 
humanity. Man and woman 1 And let us, if possible, banish 
all fear from the mind. Don't imagine there is some being 
in the infinite expanse who is not willing that every man and 
woman should think for him or her self. [Applause.] Don't 
imagine that there is any being who would give to his child- 
ren the holy torch of reason, and then damn them for follow- 
ing where the sacr'^d light may lead. [Applause.] Let us 
have courage. Priests have invented a crime called blas- 
phemy ; and behind that crime hypocrisy has crouched for 
thousands of years. There is but one blasphemy, and that 
is injustice. There is but one worship, and that is justice. 
[Applause.] You need" not fear the anger of a God whom 
you cannot injure. Rather fear to injure your fellow-man. 
[Applause.] Don't be afraid of the crime that you cannot 
commit. Rather be afraid of the one that you may commit. 
There w^as a Jewish gentleman who went into a restaurant 
to get his dinner ; and the devil of temptation whispered in 



4 What Afus/ We Do to Be Saved? 

his ear, '* Eat some bacon.'' [Laughter.] He knew that if ' 
there was anything in the universe calculated to excite the 
wrath of the infinite Being who made every shining star, it 
was to sec a gentleman eat bacon. [Laughter,] He knew 
it, [laughter] and he knew this Infinite Being was looking, 
[laughter] and that he was the infinite eavesdropper of the 
universe. ' [Great laughter.] But his appetite got the better 
of his conscience, as it often does with us all, and he ate 
that bacon. [Great laughter.] He knew it was wrong. 
When he went into that restaurant, the weather was delight- 
ful, — the air was as blue as June, and when he came out, the 
sky was covered with angry clouds, the lightning leaping 
^rom one to the other, and the earth shook beneath the voice 
of thunder. And he went back into that restaurant with a 
face as white as milk, and he said to one of the keepers, 
'* My God, did you ever hear such a fuss about a little bit of 
bacon ?" [Grear laughter.] As long as we harbour such 
opinions of infinity, as long as we imagine the heavens to be 
filled with such tyranny, so long the^ sons of men will be 
cringing, intellectual cowards. [Applause.] Let us think, 
and let us honestly express our thought. Do not imagine for 
a moment that I think the people who disagree with me are 
had people. I admit, and I cheerfully admit, that a very 
large proportion of mankind — a very large majority, a vast 
number — arn reasonably honest. I believe that most Chris- 
- tians believe what they teach, — that most ministers are en- 
deavoring to make this world better. I do not pretend to be 
better than they are. It is an intellectual question. It is a 
question, first, of intellectual liberty, and after that a ques- 
tion to be settled at the bar of human reason, I do not pre- 
tend to be better than they are. Probably I am a good deal 
worse than many of them. But that isn't the question. The 
question is, bad as I am, have I a right to think ? And I 
think I have, for two reasons ; First, I can't help it, [laugh- 
ter], and secondly I like it. [Laughter.] And the whole 
question is right at a point. If I have not the right to ex- 
press my thought, who has ? ** Ah," they say, ** we'll allow 
you to think, we'll not burn you.'* How kind ! Why won't 
you burn me ? ** Because we think a decent man will allow 
others to speak and express his thought." Then the reason 



A"' 



"">iaiiH. 



WAat Must We Do to Be Saved 1 5 

YOU don't persfxute me 

for my thought is that you believe it would be infamous in 
yourselves, Jind yet you worship a God who will, as you de- 
clare, punish me forever. [Applause and laughter.] 

The next question, then, is, can I commit a sin against 
God by thinking? If God did not intend that I should think, 
why did He give me a th nker ? [Laughter and applause.] 

Now, then, we have got what they call the Christian system 
of religion, and thousands of people wonder how I can be 
wicked enough to attack that system. There are many good 
things about it ; and I shall never attack anything that I 
believe to be good, [Applause]. I shall never fear to attack 
anything I honestly believe to be wrong. [Applause.] We 
have, I say, what they call the Christian religion ; and, I find 
just in proportion that nations have been religious, just in that 
proportion they have gone back to barbarism. I find that Italy, 
Spain, and Portugal, are the three worst nations in Europe. 
I find that the nation nearest infidel is the most prosperous — 
France. And so I say th^re can be no danger in the exer- 
cise of absolute i.iccilectual freedom. I find among ourselves 
the men who think at least as good as those who don't. 
[Laughter.] We have, I say, the Christian system, and that 
system is founded upon what they are pleased to call the 
New Testament. Who wrote the New Testament ? I do 
not know. Who does know? Nobody. [Laughter.] We 
have found some fifty-two manuscripts, containing portions 
of the New Testament. Some o: these manuscripts leave 
out five or six books, — many of them ; others more, others 
less. No two of these manuscripts agree. Nobody knows 
who wrote these manuscripts. They are all written in Greek. 
The Disciples of Christ knew only Hebrew. [Applause.] 
Nobody ever saw, so far as we know, one of the original 
Hebrew i-anuscripts ; nobody ever saw anybody who had 
seen anybody who had heard of anybody that had seen any- 
body that had ever seen one. [Loud and continued laugh- 
ter and applause.] No doubt the clergy of your city have 
told you these facts thousands of times [laughter and ap- 
plause], and they will be obliged to me for having repeated 
them once more. [Laughter.] These manuscripts are writ- 
ten in what are called capital Greek letters ; they are what 



^ W/iaf Must Wf Do to Be Saved^ 

are called *' uncial copies ;'* and the New Testament was 
not divided int > chapters and verses even until the year of 
f^race 1551. Recollect it ! In the original manuscripts, the 
Gospels are signed by nobody ; the Epistles are addressed 
to nobody, and they are signed by the same person. [Laugh- 
ter.] All the addresses, all the pretended earmarks, showing 
to whom they were written, and by whom they were written, 
are simply interpolations, and everybody that has studied 
the subject knows it. It is further admitted that even these 
manuscripts have not been properly translated ; and they 
liave a syndicate now 

MAKING ANEW TRANSLATION; 

And I suppose tliat I cannot tell whether I really believe 
the Testament or nc t until I see that new translation. [Ap- 
plause and laughter.] You must remember also one other 
tiling. Christ never wrote a solitary word of the New Tes- 
tament, — not one word. There is an account that He once 
stooped and wrote something in the sand, but that has not 
been preserved. [Applause,] He never told anybody to 
write a word. He never said, *' Matthew, remember this ;" 
**Mark, don't forget to put that down" [laughter] ; *'Luke, be 
sure that in your gospel you have this \" "John, don't forget 
it." [Laughte--.] Not one word. And it has always seemed 
to me that a bcii'jg coming from another world with a mes- 
sage of infinite importance to mankind should at least have 
verified that message by his own signature [Applause.] 
*'Why was ncjthing written ?" I will tell you. In my judg- 
ment, they expected the end of the world in a very few days. 
[Laughter.] That generation was not to pass away until the 
heavens should be rolled together as a scroll^ and until the 
earth should melt with fervent heat. That was their belief. 
They believed tliat the world was to be destroyed, — that there 
was to be another c ming, and that the saints were then to 
govern the world. And they even went so far among the 
Apostles, as we frequently do now before election, as to 
divide out the offices in advance. [Applause and laughter.] 
This Testament was not written for hundreds of years after 
the Apostles were dust. The facts lived in the open mouth 
of credulity. Tiiey w ere in the waste-baskets of forgetful- 
ness *They dq ended upon the inaccuracy of legend. ' And 



What Must We Do to Be Saved i " ^ 

for centuries these doctrines and stories were blown by the 
inconstant wind ; and, finally, when reduced to writing;, the 
same gentleman would write by the side of a passage his idea 
of it ; and the next copyist would put that in as part of the 
text, and, finally, when it was made, and the Church got in- 
to trouble and wanted a passage to help it oiit, one was in- 
terpolated to order. So that now it is among the easiest 
things in the world to pick out at least loo such interpolations 
in the New Testament. And I will pick some of them out 
before I get through. [Laughter.] And let me say here 
once for all, that for the man Christ I have infinite respect. 
[Applause.] Let me say once for all that the place where 
man has died for man is holy ground. [Applause.] Let me 
say once for all : to that great and serene man I gladly pay 
— \ gladly pay the tribute of my admiration and my tears. 

HE WAS A REFORMER 

in his day. He was an infidel in his time. He was regarded 
as a blasphemer, and His lite was destroyed by hypocrites 
who have in all ages done what they could to trample free- 
dom out of the human mind. [Applause.] Had I lived at 
that time I would have been His friend. [Applause.] And 
should He come again He will not find a better friend than 
1 will be. [Applause.] That is for the man. For the theo- 
L gical creation I have a different feeling. If He was in fact 
God, He knew there was no such thing as death ; He knew 
that what we call death was but the eternal opening of the 
golden gates of everlasting joy. And it took no hert)ism to 
face a death that was simply eternal life. FApplause.] 
When a poor boy i6 years of age goes upon the field oi bat- 
tle to keep his flag in heaven, not knowing but that death 
ends all, not knowing but that when the shadows creep over 
him the darkness will be eternal, there is heroism. [Ap- 
plause.] And so for the man who in the darkness said, 
'*My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" — for that man I 
have nothing but admiration, respect, and love. [Applause.] 
A while ago I made up my mind to find out what it was 
necessary for me to do in order to be saved. [Laughter.] If 
I have got a soul, I want it to be saved. [Renewed laugh- 
ter.] I don't wish to lose anything [laughter] that is of value. 
For thousands of years the world has been asking the ques- 



8 F/^at Musi We Do to Be Saved! 

tion, **What shall we do to be saved ?" Saved from poverty? 
No. Crime ? No. Tyranny ? No. But * What shall we 
do to be saved froiii the eternal wrath of the God who made 
us all ?'* If God made us, He will not destroy us. [Ap- 
plause.] Infinite wisdom never made a poor investment. 
[Renewed appl se.] And upon all the works of an infinite 
God a dividend uust finally be declared. [Applause] The 
pulpit has cast a shadow even over the cradle. The doctrine 
of endless punishment has co/ered the cheeks of this world 
with tears. I despise it, and I defy it. 

I made up my mind, I say, to see what I had to do in order 
to save my soul according to the Testament, and thereupon 
I read it. I read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and 
John, and I found that the Church had been deceiving me. 
I found that the clergy did not understand their own book. 
I found that they had been building upon passages that had 
been interpolated. I found that they had been building up- 
on passages that were entirely untrue, and I will tell you 
why I think so. ,, 

THE FIRST OF THESE GOSPELS 

was written by St. Matthew, according to the claim. Of 
course he never wrote a word of it, [laughter] never saw it, 
[more laughter], never heard of it. [Roars.] But for the 
purpose of this lecture I will admit that he wrote it. [Great 
laughter.] I will admit that he was with Christ for three 
years ; that he heard much of His conversation during that 
time ; and that he became impregnated with the doctrines, 
the dogmas, and the ideas of Jesus Christ. Now let us see 
what Matthew says we must do in order to be saved. And 
I take it that if this is true, Matthew is as good authority as 
any minister in the world. 

The first thing I find upon the subject of salvation is in 
the fifth chapter of Matthew, and is embraced in what is 
commonly known as the ** Sermon on the Mount." It is as 
follows : ** Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the 
Kingdom of Heaven." Good. '* Blessed are the merciful, 
for they shall obtain mercy." Good. W ther they belong 
to any church or not ; whether they belie\o the Bible or not 
*♦ Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." 
Good, **Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see 



What Must We Do to Be Saved ? 9 

God. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called 
'he children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted 
for righteousness' sake,'' — that's me a little [great laughter] 
— ** for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." [Applause and 
laughter.] 

And in the same sermon he says : **Think not that I am 
come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to 
destroy but to fulfill." And then He makes use of this re- 
markable language, almost as applicable to-day as it was 
then : ** For 1 say unto you that except your righteousness 
shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, 
ye 'shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." Good. 

IN THE SIXTH CHAPTER 

I find the following, and it comes directly after the prayer 
known as the Lord's Prayer : ** For if ye forgive men their 
trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you ; but 
if .ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your 
Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses." I accept the 
conditions. There is an offer. 1 accept it. ** If you will 
forgive men that trespass against you, God will forgive your 
trespasses against Him.'* I accept, and I never will ask any 
God to treat me better than I treat my fellow-men. [Ap- 
plause.] There's a square promise. There's a contract. 
'' If you will forgive others, God will forgive you." And it 
doesn't say that you must believe in the Old Testament, nor 
be baptized, nor join a church, nor keep Sunday. It simply 
says, " if you will forgive others, God will forgive you." And 
it must of necessity be true. No God could afford to damn 
a forgiving man. [Applause, and a voice ** Forgive Demo- 
crats ?" at which there was great laughter.] Oh, certainly, 
Let me say right here that I know lots of Democrats [laugh- 
ter] great, broad, whole-souled, clever men, and I love them 
[applause,] and the only bad thing about them is that they 
vote the Democratic ticket. [Laughter and applause,] And 
I know lots of Republicans so mean and narrow that the only 
decent thing about them is that they vote the Republican 
ticket. [Great applause and laughter.] Now, let me make 
myself upon that subject perfectly plain. [Laughter.] For 
instance : I hate Presbyterianism, but I know hundreds of 
splendid Presbyterians ; understand me ? I hc.te Methodism, 



lO What Must We Do to Be Saved 1 

and yet I know hundreds of splendid Methodists. I dishTce 
a certain set of principles called Democracy, and yet I know 
thousands of Democrats that I respect and like. [Applause] 
I like a certain set of principles — that is^ most of them — 
called Republicanism, and yet I know lots of Republicans 
who are a disgrace to those principles. [Applause.] I do 
not war against man. I do not war against persons. 

I WAR AGAINST CERTAIN DOCTRINES 

that I believe to be wrong [cheers] , and I give to every 
other human being every right that I claim for myself. [Ap- 
plause.] Of course I did not intend to-day to tell what we 
must do in the election for the purpose of being saved. 

The next thing I find is in the seventh chapter and the 
second verse : ** For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall 
be judged ; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be 
measured to you again." Good. That suits me. [Laugh- 
ter.] And in the twelfth cha{)ter of Matthew, ** For whoso- 
ever shall do the will of My Father which is in Heaven, the 
same is My brother, and sister, and ni'.^ther ;" ** For the Son 
of Man shall come in the glory of Kis Father with His 
angels, and then He shall reward every man according " — 
To the Church he belongs to ? No. To the manner in 
which he was baptized ? No. [Laughter.] According to 
his creed ? No. " Then He shall reward every man accord- 
ing to his works." Good. I subscribe to that doctrine. 

In tlie sixteenth chapter: *' And Jesus called a little child 
unto Him, and set him in the midst, and said : *Verily I say 
unto you. Except ye shall be converted and become as little 
children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.' " 
I do not wonder that a reformer in his dav, that met the 
Scribes and Pharisees, and hypocrites — I do not wonder that 
He at last turned to children, and said, ** Except ye become 
as little children." I do not wonder : and yet, see what 
children the children of God have. been ! What an interest- 
ing dimpled darling John Calvin was ! [Laughter and ap- 
plnuse.] Think ot that prattling babe known as Jonathan 
Edwards ! Think ol the infants who invented the inquisition 
— [laughter'' — that invented instruments of torture to tear 
human fiesii ! They were the ones who had i>ecome as 
httle children. 



H'/ia/ Musi We Do to Be Saved 'i in 

So, I find in the nineteenth chapter : " And behold one 
came and said unto Him, * Good Master, \\nv:^\. good thing 
shall I do that I may have eternal life?' i^.nd he said unto 
him. Why callest thou Me good? I'her'^ is none good but 
One that is God ; but if thou wilt enter into lite, keep the 
commandments." And he said unto Hiai, *' Which ?" 

Now, there is a pretty fair issue. Here is a child of God 
asking God what is necessary for him todo to inherit eternal 
life, and God says to him : *• Keep the Commandments," and 
the child said to the Deity, *' Which ?" Now, if there ever 
was an opportunity given to the Almighty to furnish a 

GENTLEMAN WITH AN INQUIRING MIND 

with the necessary information upon the subject, [laughter] 
there was the opportunity, [Laughter and applause.] He 
said unto Him, Which ? Jesus said : ** Thou shall do no 
murder ; thou shalt not commit adultery ; thou shalt not 
steal : thou shalt not bear false witness ; honor thy father 
and thy mother ; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy- 
self." He did not say to him : *• You must believe in me, 
that I am the only begotten Son of theeverliving God." He 
did not say : ** You must be born again." He did not say : 
"You must believe the Bible." He did not say : **You must 
remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." He simply 
said : ** Thou shalt do no murder ; thou shalt not commit 
adultery ; thou shalt not steal ; uiou shalt not bear false 
witness ; honor thy father and thy mother; thou shalt love 
thy neighbor as thyself." And thereupon the young man — 
I think he was a little fresh, [laughter] and, probably mis- 
taken — saith unto Him, ** All these things have I kept from 
my youth up." I don't believe that. [Laughter and ap- 
plause.] 

Now comes in an interpolation. In the old times, when 
the Church got a little scarce of money, they always put in 
a passage praising poverty. So they have this young man 
ask, ** What lack I yet ?" And Jesus said unto him ; ** If 
thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and ^w^ to 
the poor, and thou shalt have treasures in Heaven." 
[Laughter.] The Church has always been willing to swap 
off treasures in Heaven for cash down. [Roars oi laughter 
and applause.] When the next verse was written the 



12 What Must We Do to Be Saved? 

Church must have been dead broke. [Lnughter.] ** And, 
again I say unto you. It is easier for a camel to go through 
the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the King- 
dom of God." Did you ever know a wealthy disciple to un- 
load on account Oi Jiat verse ? [Laughter and cheers.] 

And then comes another verse, which I believe to be an- 
interpolation : ** And every one that hath forsaken houses, 
and brethren, and sisters, of father, or mother, or wife, or 
children, or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive an 
hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." Christ 
never said it [applause] ; never. ** Whosoever will forsake 
father or mother !" Why, He said to this man that asked 
Him, '^What shall I do to inherit eternal life ?'' among other 
things, ** Honor thy father and thy mother ;*' and we turn 
over the page, and he says again, ** If you will desert your 
father and mother, you shall have everlasting ife/' It will 
not do. ** If you will desert your wife, your little children, 
and your lands,'' — the idea of putting a house and lot on an 
equality with wife and children ! Think of that 1^ I do not 
accept the terms. I will never desert the one I love for the 
promise of any God. [Loud applause.] It is far mere im- 
portant that we should love our wives than that we should 
love God, and I will tell you why : You cannot help him ; 
you can help her. [Applause.] You can fill her life with 
the perfume of perpetual joy. It is far more important that 
you love your children than that you love Jesus Christ, and 
why ? If He is God, you cannot help Him ; but you can 
plant a little flower of happiness in every footstep of the 
child, from the cradle until you die in that child's arms. 
[Loud applause.] Let me tell you to-day that it is far more 
important to build a house than to erect a church. [Ap- 
plause.] The holiest temple beneath the stars is a home 
that love has built. [Applause.] And the most sacred altar 
in all the wide world is the fireside, around which gather 
father, mother, and children. [Ap luse.] There was a 
time when people believed that infamy. There was a time 
when they did 

DESERT FATHERS AND MOTHERS 

and wives and children. St. Augustine says to the devoteci 
** Fly to the desert. Though your wife put her arms about 



What Must We Do to Bt Saved t 13 

your neck, tear her hands away. She is a temptation of the 
devil. Though your father and mother throw their bodies 
athwart your threshold, step over them ; though your child- 
ren pursue with weeping eyes beseeching you to return, listen 
not, it is a temptation of the Evil One ; fly to the desert and 
save your soul." Think of such a soul being worth saving.' 
Applause.] While I live I propose to stand by the folks. 
'Laughter and applause.] 

Here, then, is another condition of- salvation. I find in the 
twenty-fifth chapter, ** Then shall the King say unto them on 
His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the 
Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat ; I was thirsty 
and ye gave me drink ; I was a stranger, and ye took me in ; 
naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me ; I 
was in prison, and ye came unto me." Good ! And I tell 
you to-night that God will not punish with eternal i ^'rst the 
man who has put a cup of cold water to the lips of hi;^ neigh- 
bor [applause] ; God will not allow to live in the eternal 
nakedness of pain the man who has clothed others. For in- 
stance : Here is a shipwreck, and here is some brave sailor 
who stands aside to let a woman whom he never saw before 
take his place in the boat. He stands there, great and serene 
as the wide sea, and he goes down. Do you tell me there is 
any God who will push the boat from the shore of eternal 
life when that man wishes to step in. [Applause.] Do you 
tell me that God can be unpitying to the pitiful ; that He 
can be unforgiving to the forgiving ? I deny it. And from 
the aspersions of the pulpit I seek to rescue the reputation of 
the Deity. [Applause.) 

Now, I have read you everything in Matthew on the sub- 
ject of salvation. [Laughter.] That is all there is. Not 
one word about believing anything. It is the gospel of deed, 
the gospel of charity, the gospel of self-denial, and if only 
that gospel had been preached persecution would never 
have shed one drop of blood. [Applause.] Not one. 

?Now, according to the testimony, Matthew was well ac- 
quainted with Christ. According to the testimony, he had 
been with Him and His companion for years. If it was 
necessary to believe anything in order to get to Heaven Mat- 



14 .. ^/^^^ ^list We Do to Be Savedl 

thew should ha^^e told us. But he forgot it, or he didn't be- 
lieve it ; or he iiever heard it. You an take your choice. 
[Laughter.] 

The next is Mark. Now, let us see what he says. For 
the purpose of this lecture it is sufficient for me to say that 
Mark agrees substantially with Matthew,— that God will be 
merciful to the merciful, that He will be kind to the kind, 
that He will pity the pitying. It is precisely or substantially 
the same as Matthew until I come to the sixteenth verse of 
the sixteenth chapter, and then I strike an interpolation put 
in by hypocrisy, put in by priests who longed to grasp with 
bloody hands the sceptre of universal authority. [Applause. j 
Let me read it to you. It is the most infamous passage in 
the Bible, Christ never said it. No sensible man ever said 
It. " And He said unto them " [that is unto His disciples], 
" go ye mto all the world and Ipreach the gospel to every 
creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; 
but he that believeth not shall be damned." Now, I pro- 
pose to prove to you that this is an interpolation. How will 
I do It ? In the first place, not one word is said about be- 
lief m Matthew. In the next place, not one word about be- 
lief m Mark, until I come to that verse ; and where is that 
said to have been spoken ? According to Mark it is a part 
ofthe last conversation with Jesus Christ,— just before, ac- 
cording to the account, 

HE ASCENDED BODILY BEFORE THEIR EYES. 

If there ever was any important thing happened in this 
world that is one. If there is any conversation people would 
be apt to recollect, it would be the last conversation with a 
Tiod before He rose through the air and seated Himself up- 
^n the Throne of the Infinite. We have in this Testament 
hve accounts of the last conversation happening between 
Jesus Christ and His Apostles. Matthew gives it, and yet 
Matthew does not state that in that connection He said : 
-Whosoever believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and 
whosoever beheveth not shall be damned." If He did say 
these words, they were the most important that ever fell from 
His hps; Matthew either didn't hear it, or didn't believe it, 
or torgot it. Then I turn to Luke, and he gives an account 
ot this same last conversation, and not one word does he say 



VP/rat .r^usf We Do fo Be Saved f 



^5 



Mark is an interpolation. 
Tiiiit there is not one par- 
Wiiy ? No man can c on- 



upon that subject. Now, it is the most important thing, if 
Christ said it, that He ever said. Then I turn to John, and 
he gives an account of the last conversation, but not one soli- 
tary word upon the subject of belief or unbelief, — not one 
solitary word on the subject of damnation. Not one. Then 
I turn to the first chapter of the Acts, and there I find an 
account of the last conversation, and in that conversation, 
not one word upon this subject. Now, I say that tliat de 
monstrates that the passage in 
What other reason have 1 gv;t ? 
tide of sense in it. [Laughter.] 

trol his belief. You hear evidence for and against, and tl.e 
integrity of the soul stands at the scales and tells which side 
rises and which side falls. [Applause.] You cannot beheve 
as you will. You must believe as you must. Aiid He might 
as well have said, ^* Go into all the world and preach the 
Gospel, and whosoever has red hair shall be saved, [laugh- 
ter] and whosoever hath not shall be damned." [Renewed 
laughter.] Then I have another reason. I am much ob- 
liged to the gentleman who uiterpolated those passages ; I 
am much obliged to him that he put in some more — two more. 
Now hear : *' And these signs shall follov/ them that believe." 
Good ! " In my name they shall cast out devils ; they shall 
speak with new tongues ; they shall take up serpents; and 
if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them ; they 
siiall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.'^ Bring 
on your believer. [Applause and laughter.] Let him cast 
out a devil. I don't claim a Urge one. [Laughter,] Just 
a little one for a cent. [Renewed laughter.] Let him take 
up serpents. [A voice — ** Copperheads."] Ifhe drink any 
deadly thing it shall not hurt him. Let me mix up a dose 
for an average believer [laugiiter] and if it dosen't ** hurt'' 
him, I will join a church. [Laughter and applause.] Oh, 
but they say that those things lasted only througli the Apos- 
tolic age. Let us see. **Go into all the world and preach 
the Gospel, and whosoever believes and is baptized shall be 
saved, and these signs shall follow them that believe." How 
long ? I think at least until they had gone into all the 
world. [Applause.] Certainly those signs shf>uld follow 
until all the world had been visited. If that declaration was 



l6 What Musi We Dc to Be Saved 1 

in the mouth of Christ, He then knew that one-half of the 
world was unkncwn, and that He would be dead 1,492 years 
before 

HIS DISCn LES WOULD KNOW 

that there was another world. [Applause.] And yet He 
said, ** Go into all the world and preach the Gospel." And 
He knew then that it would be 1,492 years before any- 
body went. [Laughter.] Well, if it was worth while to 
have signs follow believers in the Old World, assuredly it 
was worth while to have the signs follow the believers in the 
New World. And the only reason that signs should follow 
would be to convince the unbeliever ; and there are as many 
unbelievers now as ever. And the signs are as necessary to- 
day as they ever were. [Applause.] I would like a few my- 
self. [Laughter.] This frightful declaration, " He that be- 
lieveth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth 
not shall be damned,^' has filled this world with agony and 
crime. Every letter of this passage has been sword and 
fagot ; every w^ord has been dungeon and chain. And that 
passage made the sword of persecution drip with innocent 
blood for ten centuries. That passage made the horizon of 
1000 years lurid with the fagot's flames. That passage con- 
tradicts the Sermon on the Mount. That passage travesties 
the Lord's Prayer. That passage turns the splendid religion 
of deed and duty into the cruel, cruel superstition of creed 
and cruelty. I deny it. It is infamous. Christ never said 
it. 

Now I come to Luke. [Laughter.] And it is sufficient 
to say that Luke substantially agrees with Matthew and 
with Mark. But let us first read. I like it. **Be ye therefore 
merciful as your Father is also merciful." Good ! ** Judge 
not, and you shall not be judged ; condemn not, and you 
shall not be condemned ; and forgive and you shall be for- 
given." Good ! **Give and it shall be given unto you," good 
measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. 
Good. I lik( it. " For with the same measure that ye mete 
withal, it shall be measured to you again.*' He agrees sub- 
stantially with Mark, he agrees substantially with Matthew. 

And I come at last to the nineteenth chapter; **And 
Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, * Behold, Lord, the 



'*''■ 






W/tar Must We Do to Be Saved f 



I half of my goods I give to the poor ; and if I have taken any- 
I thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him four- 
fold.' And Jesus said unto him, * This day is salvation come 
to this house.' '* That's good doctrine. He didn't ask Zac- 
^ cheus what he believed. He didn't ask him : ** Do you be- 
'u lieve in the Bible ? Do you believe in the five points? Have 
I you ever been baptised? [Roars.] Sprinkled? Oh! im- 
I mersed ? " [Great Laughter.] ** Half of my goods I give to 
I the poor, and if I have taken anything from any man by false 
^ accusation, I restore him fourfold," and Christ said, ** This 
day is salvation come to this house." Good. [Applause.] 

I read also in Luke that Christ, whefi upon the cross, for- 
gave his murderers ; and that is considered the shining gem 
in the crown of His mercy — that He forgave His murderers; 
that He forgave those that drove the nails in His hands and 
in His feet ; that planted the spear in His side ; the soldier 
that, in the hour of death, offered him in mockery the bitter- 
ness to drink. 

HE FORGAVE THEM ALL FREELY THERE, 

yet, although He forgave them. He will in the nineteenth 
century damn to eternal fire an honest man for the expres- 
sion of his honest thought. [Applause.] That won't do. 
[Laughter.] 

I find, too, in Luke the account of two thieves that were 
crucified at the same time. The other Gospels speak of them. 
One says that both railed upon him. Another says nothing 
about it. In Luke we are told that one did, but one of the 
thieves looked and pitied Christ, and Christ said to that 
thief: ** This day shalt thou meet Me in Paradise." Why did 
he say that ? Because the thief pitied Him, and God cannot 
afford to trample beneath the feet of His infinite wrath the 
smallest blossom of pity that ever shed its perfume in the 
human heart. [Applause.] Who was this thief'' To what 
Church did he belong ? [Laughter.] I don't know. The 
fact that he was a thief throws no light upon that question. 
[Roars.] Who was he ? What did he believe ? I don't 
know. Did he believe in the Old Testament and the mira- 
cles ? I dont know. Did he believe that Christ was God ? 
I don't know. Why then was the promise made to him that 
he should meet Christ in Paradise 1 Simply because hq 



i8 H'/iat Must We Do to Be Saved? 

pitied innocence suffering upon the cross. God cannot afford 
to damn any man capable of pitying anybody. [Applause.] 
And now we come to John ; and that's where the trouble 
commences. [Laughter.] The other Gospels preach the 
doctrine that God will be merciful to the merciful, forgiving 
to the forgiving, kind to the kind, loving to the loving, just 
to the just, merciful to the good. Now we come to John. 
And here is another doctrine. And let me say that John 
wasn't written until centuries after the others. This the 
Church made up. [Laughter.] **And Jesus answered and 
said unto him : Verily I say unto you, except a man be born 
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Why didn't He 
tell Matthew that ? Why didn't he tell Luke that ? Why 
didn't he tell Mark that ? . 

THEY NEVER HEARD OF IT. 

or they forgot it, or they didn't believe it. ** Except a man 
be born ol water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the 
Kingdom of God." Why ? " That which is born of the 
flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. 
Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. 
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is 
born of the spirit is spirit," and He might have added, 
"** That which is born of water is water. [Laughter.] 
Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again." 
[Renewed laughter.] And then the reason is given, and I 
admit that I didn't understand it myself until I read the 
reason, and when I read the reason you all will understand it 
as well as I do. And here it is. ** The wind bloweth where 
it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not 
tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth." [Great 
laughter]. 

So I find in the book of John the idea of the real pre- 
sence. So I find in the book of John that in order to be 
saved we must eat ol the flesh and we must drink of the 
blood of Jesus Christ, and if that Gospel is true the Catholic 
Church is right. [Great applause.] But it isn't true. 
[Laughter.] I cannot believe it, and yet, for all that, it 
may be true. But I don't believe it. Neither do I believe 
there is any God in the universe who will damn a man 
simply for expressing his belief. [Applause.] ** Why,'* 



W/iat Must IVe Do to Be Saved t 19 

they say to me. ** suppose ajl this should turn out to be true, 
and you <^hould come to the Day o^ Judgment and find that 
it was all true, what would you do then ? ** I would walk 
up like a man and say : ** I was mistaken." [Applause 
anc"J laughter.] ** And suppose God was about to pass judg- 
ment upon you, what would you say ? " I would say to 
Him : *' Do unto others as 3/ou would have others do unto 
you." [Applause.] Why not ? I am told that I must 
render good ^or evil. I am told that if smitten upon one 
cheek I must turn the other. I am told that I must over- 
come evil with good. I am told that 1 must love my 
enemies, and will it do for this God, who tells me '* Love 
your enemies," to say ** I will damn mine " ? [Applause.] 
No, it will not do. It will not do. [Renewed applause] . 

UPON THE BOOK OF JOHN 

all this doctrine of regeneration, all this doctrine that it is 
necessary to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, all the doc- 
trine that salvation depends upon belief, — in the Book of 
John all these doctrines find their warrant ; nowhere else ; 
nowhere else. Read these three Gospels, and then read 
John, and you will agree with me that the Gospels teach 
that we must be kind, we must be nierciful, we must be for- 
giving, and thereupon that God will forgive us, — and then 
say whether or not that doctrine is better than the doctrine 
that somebody else can be good for you, that somebody else 
can be bad for you, and that the only way to get to Heaven 
is to beUeve something that you don't understand. [Ap- 
plause.] 

Nov. , upon these Gospels that I have read the Churches 
rest, and out of those things that I have read they have 
made their creeds. And the first Church to make a creed, 
so far as I know, was the Catholic. I take it, that is the 
first Church that had any power. That is the Church that 
preserved all these miracles for us. [Laughter.] That is 
the Church that preserved the manuscripts for us. That is 
the Church whose word we have to take. That Church is 
the witness that Protestantism brings to the bar of history 
to prove miracles that happened 1800 years ago [applause] ; 
and, while the witness is there. Protestantism takes the 
paius to say : ** You can't believe one word that the wit- 



20 



WAaf Must We Do to Be Saved? 



ness says now." That Church is the only one that keeps 
up a constant communication with Heaven [laughter] 
through the instrumentality of a large number of decayed 
Saints. [Roirs.] That Church has an agent of God on 
earth ; that Church has a person who stands in the place of 
Diety ; that Church, according' to their doctrine, is infallible. 
That Church has persecuted to the exact extent of her 
power, and always will. In Spain that Church stands 
erect, that Church is arrogant ; in the United States that 
Church crawls ; but the object in both countries is precisely 
the same, and that is the destruction of intellectual liberty. 
[Great applause.] That Church teaches us that we can 
make God happy by being miserable ourselves. That 
Church teaches us that a nun is holier in the sight of God 
than a loving mother with her child in her thrilled and 
J thrilling arms. That Church teaches you that a priest is 
better than a father. That Church teaches you that celi- 
bacy is better than that passion of love that has made 
everything of beauty in this world. [Applause.] That 
Church tells the girl of i6 or i8 years ot age, with eyes like 
dew and light, — that girl with the red of health in the white 
of her beautiful cheeks. — it tells that girl : ** Put on a veil 
woven of death and night, kneel upon stone, and you will 
please God." I tell you that 

NO GIRL SHOULD BE ALLOWED BY LAW 

to take the veil and renounce the beauties of the world 
loud applause] until she is at least 25 years of age. 
.[Laughter.] Wait until she knows what she wants. 
Laughter and applause.] I am opposed to allowing these 
spider-like priests to weave webs to catch the flies of youth. 
[Applause.] There ought to be a law appointing Commis- 
sioners to visit such places at least twice a year and release 
every person who expresses a desire to be released. [Loud 
applause.] I do not believe in keeping penitentiaries for 
God. [Applause.] No doubt they are honest about it ; 
that is not the question. Now, this Church, after a few 
centuries of thought, made a creed, and that creed is the 
foundation of orthodox religion. Let me read to you : 

** Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is neces- 
sary that he hold the Catholic f<iith. Which faith, except 



PV/tat Must We Do to Be &ive(i i %% 



^■^% 



every one do keep entir;: and inviolate, without doubt he 
shall perish everlas.ing^ly. Now the Catholic faith is this : 
That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity." 
Of course you understand how this is done, and there is no 
need of my explaining it, [ aughter.] ** Neither con- 
founding the persons, nor diviaing the substance." You 
see what a predicament that would leave the Deity in, — it 
you divide the substance. [Laughter.] "For one is the 
person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the 
Holy Ghost. But the godhead of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one, the glory equal, the 
majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, 
and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father is uncreated, the 
Son is uncreated, and the Holy Ghost is uncreated. The 
Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and 
the Holy Ghost incomprehensible." And that is the reason 
we know so much about them there. [Laughter.] 

** The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy 
Ghost Eternal. And yet there are not three Eternals, but 
one Eternal. As also there are not three uncreated, nor 
three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated, and one in- 
comprehensible. In like manner the Father is Almighty, 
the Son Almighty and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet 
there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. [Laugh- 
ter.] So the Father is God. the Son is God, and the Holy 
Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods, but one 
God. So, likewise, the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, 
and the Holy Ghost is Lord. And yet there are not three 
Lords, but one Lord. For, as we are compelled by the 
Christian truth to acknowledge every person by himself to 
be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Cathoilc re- 
ligion to say there are three Gods or three Lords. The 
Father is made of no one, neither created nor begotten. 
The Son is from the Father alone, — not made, nor created, 
but begotten. The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the 
Son, not made nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one 
Father, not three Fathers ; " why should there be if there 
is only one Son ? [Laughter.] ** One Son, not three Sons ; 
one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this 
Trinity diere is nothing before or after; nothing greater or 



22 . tV/iat Must We Do to Be Saved ^ 

less ; but the whole three persons are coeternal to one an- 
other and coequal. So that in all things the Unity is to he 
worshipped in Trinity, and the Trinit^^ 'n Unity lie, 
therefore, that will be saved must thus thini- of the Trinity. 
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he 
also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Now the right faith is, that we believe and confess 
that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God 
and Man. He is God of the substance of his Father, be- 
gotten before the world" — that is, a good while before IIis 
mother lived [laughter] ; *' and H« is a man of the substance 
of His mother born m the world. Perfect God and perlect 
Man ; of a rational soul, and human flesh subsisting , equal 
to the Father according to His godhead, and less than the 
Father according to His manhood ; who, although He be 
both God and Man, yet He is not two but one Christ ; one, 
not by the conversion of the godhead into flesh, but by the 
taking of the manhood unto God." You see, that is a great 
(leal easier than the other way. [Laughter.] '* One alto- 
<^ether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. 
For as the rational soul and the flesh is one man, so God 
and man is one ChrLc, who sufl'ered for our salvation, de- 
scended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead. 
He ascended into Heaven ; He sitteth at the right hand of 
God the Father Almighty ; thence He shall come to judge 
the living and the dead." 

In order to be saved it is necessary to believe this. 
What a mercy it is that man can get to Heaven without 
understanding it ! [Laughter and applause.] In order to 
compel the human intellect to get upon its knees before 
that infinite absurdity, thousands and millions have r-yfl^ered 
all agonies, thousands and millions have per hed in dungeon 
and in fire; and if all the bones of all the victims of the Catholic 
Church could be gathered together, a monument higher than 
all the pyramids would arise, in the presence of which the 
eyes even of priests would be sufl"used with tears. [Ap- 
plause.] That Church covered Europe with Cathedrals 
and dungeons ; that Church robbed man of the jewel of the 
soul ; that Church had ignorance upon its knees ; that 
Church went in partnership with the tyranny of the throne 



WAat Musi We Dc to Be Saved? fj 

and between these two vultures, the altar and the throne, 
the heart of man was devoured. [Applause.] 

Of course I admit — cheerfully admit — that there are 
thousands of good Catholics. But Catholicism is con- 
trary to human liberty ; Catholicism bases salvation upon 
belief ; Catholicism f < aches man to trample his reason under 
foot; and for that reason it is wrong. 

Now, the next Church that comes along in the order 
that I wish to speak is the Episcopalian. That was founded 
by Benry VIII., — now in Heaven. [Laughter.] He cast 
off yueen Katherine and Catholicism together, and he 
accepted Episcopalianism and Anne Boleyn at the same 
time. [Laughter,] That Church, if it had a few more 
ceremonies, would be Catholic ; if it had a few less, nothing. 
[Laughter.] We have an Episcopalian Church in this 
country, and it has all the imperfections of a poor relation. 
[Laughter.] It is always boasting of its rich relative. In 
England, the creed is made by law, the same as we pass 
statutes here ; and when a gentleman dies in England, in 
order to determine whether he shall be saved or not, it is 
necessary for the powers of Heaven to read the acts of 
Parliament. [Laughter.] It becomes a question of law; 
and sometimes a man is damned on a very nice point — 
[laughter] — lost on demurrer ! [Laughter and applause.] 
A few years ago a gentleman by the name of Seabury — 
Samuel Seabury — was sent over to England to get some 
apostolical succession. We hadn't a drop in the house. 
[Laughter.] It was necessary for the Bishops of the 
English Church to put their hands upon his head. They 
refused ; there was no act of Parliament justifying it. He 
had then to go to the Scotch Bishops, and, had the Scotch 
Bishops refused, we never would have had any apostolic 
succession in the New World. God would have been 
driven out of half the world, and the true Church never 
could have been founded. But the Scotch Bishops put 
their hands on his head ; and now we have an unbroken 
succession of heads and hands, from St. Payl to the last 
Bishop. [Laughter.] In this country the Episcopal Church 
has done some good ; and I want to thank that Church fot 
having on the average less religion than the others, [laugh- 



a4 W/iaf Mu f We Do to Be Savedt 

ter]; on the average you have done more good to mai cind. 
[Laughter and applause.] You preserved some of the 
humanities. You did not hate music ; you did not absolutely 
despise painting; and you did not abhor architecture. You 
finally admitted that it was no worse to keep time with your 
feet than with your hands ; and some went so far as to say 
that people could play cards, and that God would overlook 
it all, or -^ook the other way. [Laughter.] For all these 
things, accept my thanks. When I was a boy, the other 
churches looked upon dancing as the mysterious sin against 
the Holy Ghost ; and they used to teach that when tour 
boys got together in a hay-mow playing seven-up, that the 
eternal God stood whetting 

THE SWORD OF HIS ETERNAL WRATH, 

waiting to strike them down to the lowest hell. fLaughter 
and applause,] So that Church has done some ^oc^.l. 

After a while, in England, a couple of gentlemen by the 
name ot Wesley and Whitfield said, '* If everybody is going 
to Hell, somebody ought to mention it." [Laughter.] The 
Episcopal clergy said : ** Keep still, don't tear your gown." 
[Laughter.] Wesley and Whitfield said: *' This frightful 
truth rught to be proclaimed from the housetop on every 
opportunity, and from the highway on every occasion." 
They were good, honest men ; they believed their doctrine, 
and they said : '* If there is a Hell, and here is a Niagara 
of souls pouring over the eternal precipice of ignorance, 
somebody ought to say something." They were right, 
somebody ought if such a thing is true. Wesley was a 
believer in the Bible. He believed in the actual presence 
of the Almighty. God used to do miracles ^r him. 
[Laughter.] He used to put off a rain several days to give 
his meeting a chance. He used to cure his horse ot lame- 
ness. He used to cure Mr. Wesley's headaches. Mr. Wes- 
ley also believed in the actual existence of the Devil. He 
believed that Devils had possession of people. He talked 
to the Devil when he was m folks, and the Devil told him 
that he was going to. leave, and that he was going into 
another person, and that he would be there at a certain 
time [laughter] ; and Wesley went to that other person, and 
there the Devil wsis prompt to the minute, (Laughter and. 



i^V/iat Must We Do to Be Saved ^ 25 

applause.] He regarded every conversion as an absolute 
warfare between God and the Devil for the possession of 
that man's soul. Honest, no doubt, Mr. Wesley did not 
believe in human liberty ; honest, no doubt, he was opposed 
to the liberty of the colonies, — Honestly, so. Mr. Wesley 
preached a sermon entitled, ** The Cause and Cure of 
Earthquakes " [laughter], in which he took the ground that 
earthquakes were caused by sin, and the only way to stop 
them was to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. [Great 
laughter.] No doubt an honest man. Wesley and Whit- 
field fell out on the question of predestination. Wesley 
insisted that God mvited everybody to the feast. Whitfield 
said Pie didn't invite those whom He knew wouldn't come. 
[Laughter.] Wesley said he did. Whitfield said, Well, 
He didn't put plates for them, anyway. [Great laughter.] 
Wesley said he did, so that when they were in hell He 
could show them that there was a seat left for them. And 
that Church that they founded is still active. Probably no 
Church in the world has done as much preaching for as 
little money as the Methodist. [Great laughter.] Whit- 
field believed in- slavery, and advocated the slave trade. 
.And it was of Whitfield that Whittier mr ie the two lines : 

He bade the slaveships speed from coa^ to coast, 
Fanned by the wings of the Holy Ghos- . 

We had a meeting of the Methodists, and I find by 
their statistics that they believe that they have converted 
130,000 folks in a year. And in order to do this they have 
26,000 preachers, 226,000 Sunday-school scholars, and 
about $100,000,000 invested in church property. I find, in 
looking over the history of the world, that there are forty 
or fifty million people born a year, and if they are saved at 
the rc^te of 130,000 a year, 

ABOUT HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE 

for that doctrine to save this world ? [Laughter.] Good, 
honest people ; they are mistaken. In old times they were 
very simple. Their churches used to be like barns. They 
used to have them divided, — the men on this side, the 
women on that, — a little fortress. They have advanced 
since then, and they now find as a fact demonstrated by ex- 
perience that a man sitting by the woman he loves can 



a6 W/iat Musi We Do i.) Be Saved! 

thank God as lieartily as though sitting between two men 
that he has never been introduced to. [Applause and 
laughter.] There is another thing the Methodists ought to 
remember, and that is tliat the Episcopahans were the 
greatest enemies they ever had. And they should remem- 
ber that the Free-Thmkershave always treated them kindly 
and well. There is one thing about the Methodist Church 
in the North that I like, but I f nd that it is not Methodism 
that does it. I find that the Methodist Church in the South 
is as much opposed to liberty as the Methodist Church 
North is in favor of liberty. So it is not Methodism that is 
in favor of liberty or slavery. They vary a little in their 
creed from the rest. They don't believe that God does 
every thing. They believe that He does His part, and that 
you must do the rest, and chat getting to Heaven is a part- 
nership business. 

The next Church, the Presbyterian, in my judgment, is 
the worst ol all [laughter and applause], so far as creed is 
concerned. This Church was founded by John Calvin, a 
murderer. [Sensation.] John Calvin, having power in 
Geneva, inaugurated human torture. Voltaire abolished^ 
torture in France. [Applause.] The man who abolished 
torture, if the Christian religion is true, God is now tortur- 
ing in hell ; and the man who inaugurated torture, he is 
now a glorified angel in Heaven. [Laughter.] It won't do. 
[Renewed laughter.] John Knox started this doctrine in 
Scotland ; and this is the peculiarity about Presbyteriamsm : 
It grows best where the soil is poorest. [Laughter.] I 
read the other day an account of a meeting between John 
Knox and John Calvin. Imagine a dialogue between a 
pestilence and a famine. [Convulsive laughter.] Imagine 
; conversation between a block and the axe. As I read 
their conversation it seemed to me as though John Knox 
and John Calvin were made for each other, and that they 
fitted each other like the upper and lower jaws of a wild 
beast. They believed happiness was a crime. They looked 
upon laughter as blasphemy. And they did all they could to 
destroy every human feeling, and to fill the mind with the 
infinite gloom of predestination and eternal damnation. 
[Applause.] They taught the doctrine that God had a 



IV/iaf Must We Do to Be Saved ? 27 

right to damn us because He made us. That is just the 
reason He has not a right to damn us. There is some dust 
— unconscious dust. What right has God to change that 
unconscious dust into a human being, when He knows that 
human being will live — when He knows that human being 
will suffer eternal agony ? Why not leave him in the 
unconscious dust ? [Applause.] What right has an infinite 
God to add to the sum of human agony ? Suppose I knew 
that I could change that piece of furniture [pointing to a 
chair] into a living, happy, sentient human being, and I 
knew that being would suifer untold agony forever. If I 
did it I would be a fiend. I would leave that being j*y 
unconscious dust. And yet we are told that we mv 
believe\such doctrine or we are to be eternally damned i", 
won't do. Why, in 1839 there was a division in this Church. 
They had a lawsuit to see which was the chrrch of God. 
[Laughter.] And they tried it before a judge and jury, and 
the jury decided that the New School 

WAS THE CHURCH OF GOD. 

Then they got a new trial, and the next jury decided that 
the Old School v/as the Church of God, and that settled it, 
[Great laughter.] And that Church teaches that infinite 
innocence was sacrificed for me. I don't want it. I don't 
wish to go to Heaven unless I can settle by the books, and 
go there because I have a right to go there. I have said, 
and I say again, I don't wish to be a charity angel. 
[Laughter.] I have no ambition to become a winged 
pauper of the sky. [Roars.] 

The other day a young gentleman — a Presbyterian, 
who had just been converted — came to convert me. [Shouts 
of laughter]. He gave me a tract and told me that he was 
perfectly happy. Humph ! [Laughter.] Said 1 : ** Do 
you think a great many people are going to hell?" ** O 
yes.' "And you are perfectly happy?" *' Well, he didn't 
know as he was — quite." [Laup^hter.] *' Wouldn't you be 
happier if they were all going to Heaven ?" ** O, yes." 
" Well, then you are not perfectly happy ?" ** No, he 
didn't think he was." [Laughter.] Said 1 : " When you 
go to Heaven you will be perfectly happy ?" ** Oh, my 1 
yes*** ** Now, when we are only going to Hell you are uot 



28 PV/ia^ Must We Do to Be Saved? 

quite happy, but when we are in Hell and you in Heaven then 
you will be perfectly happy. You won't be as decent when 
you get to be an angel as you are now, will you ?" [Laugh- 
ler.l Well, he said, that wasn't exactly it. [More laughter.] 
'*Well," said I, ** suppose your mother was in Hell, would 
you be happy in Heaven then ?'* ** Well," he says, ** I sup- 
pose God would know the best place lor mother." [Shouts 
on shouts of laughter.] And I thought to myself, then, if I 
was a woman I would like to have five or six boys like that. 
[Great laughter.] It will not do ; Heaven is where are 
those we love and those who love us [applause], and I wish 
to go to no world unless I can be accompanied by those who 
have loved me here. [Applause.] Talk about the consolar. 
tion ot this infamous doctrine, — the consolation of a doctrine 
that makes a father say, ** I can be happy, with my daughter 
in Hell " ; that makes a mother say, ** I can be happy, with 
my generous, brave boy in Hell " ; that makes a boy say, 
'• I can enjoy the glory of Heaven, with the woman who 
bore me, the woman who would have died for me, in eternal 
agony." [Great applause.] And they call that ** tidings 
of great joy." [Great applause and laughter.] 

I have no time to speak of the Baptists [laughter], that 
Jeremy Taylor said were as much to be rooted out as any- 
thing that was the greatest pest and nuisance on earth 
laughter] ; nor of the Quakers, the best of all, and abused 
5y all. I cannot forget that George Fox, in the year of 
grace 1640, was put in the pillory, whipped from town to 
town, scarred, put in a dungeon, beaten, trampled upon, 
and what for ? Simply because he preached the doctrine, 
** Thou shalt not resist evil with evil. Thou shalt love 
thine enemies." Think of what the Church must have been 
in that day. To scar the flesh of that loving man ; just 
think of it ! I say I have no time to speak of all these sects, 
and of the varieties of Presbyterians, and of the Cambellites 
[laughter], — the people who think you must dive in order to 
get up. [Great laughter.] There are hundreds and 
hundreds of these sects all founded upon this creed that I 
read, differing simply in degree. " Ah," but they say to me, 
•* you are fighting something that is dead. Nobody believes 
tiiis now. 



IVAat Must We Do to Be Saved? 39 

THE PREACHERS DON'T BELIEVE 

what they preach in the pulpit. The people in the pews 
don't believe what they hear preached." ** Oh," they say 
to me, ** you are fighting something that is dead — that is all 
form. We don't believe a solitary creed. We signed it, 
and swore that we believed it, but we don't, and none of us 
do." [Lraughter.] ** And all the ministers," they say, ** in 
private admit that they don't believe in it — not quite." I 
don't know whether it is so or not ; I take it that they be- 
lieve what they preach. I take it that when they meet|and 
solemnly agree to a creed, I take it that they are honest, 
and believe in that creed. The Evangelical Alliance, com- 
posed of all the orthodox denominations in the world, met 
only a few years ago, and here is their creed : ** The Divine 
inspiration, authority, and sufficiency of the Holy Scrip- 
tures ; the right and duty of private judgment in the inter- 
pretation of the Holy Scriptures." But if you interpret 
wrongj you are damned. They believe in the unity of the 
Godhead, and the trinity of the persons therein. They be- 
lieve in the utter depravity of human nature ; and there can 
be no more infp lous doctrine than that. They look upon 
a little child as a lump of depravity ; I look upon it as a bud 
of humanity — (applause) — that will, under proper circum- 
stances, blossom into rich and glorious life. (Applause). 
Total depravity of human nature ! Here is a woman whose 
husband has been lost at sea, and the news comes that he 
has been drowned by the ever-hungry waves. She waits, 
and something in her heart tells her he is alive. She waits, 
and years afterwards, as she looks down towards the little 
gate, she sees him ; he has been given back by the sea, and 
she rushes to his arms, covering his face with kisses and 
with tears. It that infamous doctrine is true, every tear is 
a crime and every kiss i blasphemy. It will not do. (Ap- 
plause). According to that doctrine, if a man steals, and 
repents, and takes back the property, the repentance and 
the taking back of the property are two other crimes, if he 
is totally depraved. It is an infamy. What else do they 
believe ? The justification of the sinner by faith alone ; not 
any works, just faith — believing something that you do not 
understand. Of course, God cannot afford to reward 4 mj^n 



30 What Must We Do to Be Saved 1 

for believinf]^ anything that is rcasonaSle ; publicans and 
sinners believe what is reasonable ; God rewards you only 
for believing something that is unreasonable. If you believe 
something that you know is not so, you are a saint. [Laugh- 
ter.] But what else ? They believe in the eternal blessed- 
ness of the righteous and in the eternal punishment of the 
wicked. Tidings of great jov ! They are so good that they 
will 

NOT ASSOCIATE WITH UNIVERSALISTS \ 

they will not associate with Unitarians; they will not asso- 
ciate with Scientists ; they will only associate with those 
that believe that God so loved the world that He made up 
His mind to damn the most of us. [Laughter and ap- 
plause.] 

But then they say to me, " What do you propose ? 
You have torn down our hope, what do you propose to give 
in the place of it ?" I have not torn it down ; I have only 
endeavored to trample out the ignorant and cruel fires of 
Hell. I do not tear away the passage, * God will be merciful 
to the merciful." I do not destroy the promise, ** If you will 
forgive others, God will forgive you." [Applause.] I would 
not for anything blot out the faintest star that shines in the 
horizon of human despair, nor in the horizon of human hope ; 
but I will do v/hat I can to get that infinite shadow out of 
the heart of man. [Loud applause.] " What do you pro- 
pose in place of this ?" Well, in the first place, I propose 
good fellowship — good friends all round. No matter what 
we believe, shake hands, and say, ** Let it go ; that is your 
opinion, this is mine; let us be friends." Science makes 
friends ; religion, superstition, makes enemies. They say, 
belief is important ; 1 say, no ! actions are important ; judge 
by deeds, not by creeds. Good fellowship ! We have had 
too many of these solemn people. Whenever I see an ex- 
ceedingly solemn man, I know he is an exceedingly stupid 
man. [Laughter.] No man of any humor ever founded a 
religion — never. Humor sees both sides ; while reason is 
the holy light, humor carries the lantern ; and a man with a 
keen sense of humor is preserved from the solemn stupidi- 
ties of superstition. I like a man that has got good feeling 
for everybody. Good fellowship ! One man said to an- 



W/ia/ Must We Do to Be Saved? 31 

other, ** Will you take a pjlass of wine ?" ** I don't drink.'* 
** Will you smoke a cigar ?" *' I don't smoke." ** Maybe 
you will chew sometliing ?" ** I don't chew." ** Let us eat 
some hay?" [Laughter.] ** I don't eat hay." **Well, 
then, good bye — y ii are no company for either man or 
beast." [Laughter and applause.] 

I believe in the gospel of cheerfulness ; the gospel of 
good nature ; in th»3 gospel of good health. Let us pay 
some attention to our bodies ; take care of our bodies, and 
our souls will take care of themselves. Good health ! I be- 
lieve the time will come when the public thought will be so 
great and grand that it will be looked upon as infamous to 
perpetuate disease. I believe the time will come when men 
will not fill the future with consumption and with insanity. 

I believe the time will come when with studying ourselves 
and understandmg the laws of health, we will say we are 
under obligations to put the flags of health in the cheeks of 
our children. [Applause.] Even if I got to heaven, and 
had a harp, I would hate to look back upon my children and 
see them diseased, deformed, crazed, all suffermg the pen- 
alty of crimes that I had committed. [Loud applause.] I, 
then, believe in 

THE GOSPEL OF GOOD HEALTH, 

and I believe in the gospel of good living. You cannot make 
any God happy by fasting. [Laughter.] Let us have good 
food, and let us have it well cooked ; it is a thousand times 
better to know how to cook it, than it is to understand any 
theology in the world. [Loud applause.] 

I believe in the gospel of good clothes. I believe ia the 
gospel of good houses ; in the gospel of water and soap. 
[Laughter.] I believe in the gospel of intelligence ; in the 
gospel of education. The school-house is my cathedral ; 
the universe is my Bible. [Loud applause.] I believe in 
the gospel of justice, — that we must reap what we sow. I 
do not believe in forgiveness. If I rob Mr. Smith, and God 
forgives me, how does that help Smith ?- [Laughter.] If I 
by slander cover some poor girl with the leprosy of some 
imputed crime, and she withers away like a blighted flower, 
and afterwards I get forgiveness, how does that help her ? 

II there is another world, we have got to settle ; no bankrupt 



32 IV /la/ Must IVe Do to Be Saved? 

court there. [Laughter and applause.] Pay down. Among 
the ancient Jews it you committed a crime you had to kill 
a sheep; now they say, ** Charge it. [Laughter.] Put it 
on the siate." [Renewed laughter.] It won't do. For 
every crime you commit you must answer to yourself and 
to the one you injure. And if you have ever clothed another 
with unhappiness as with a garment of pain, you will never 
be quite as happy as though you hadn't done that thing. 
[Applause.] No forgiveness ; eternal, inexorable, everlasting 
justice — that is what I believe m. And if it goes hard with 
me, I will stand it. [Laughter.] And I will stick to my 
logic, and I will bear it like a man. [Applause.] And 1 
believe, too, in the gospel of liberty, — of giving to others 
what we claim. And I believe there is room everywhere 
for thought, and the more liberty you give away the more 
you will have. In liberty extravagance is economy. Let 
us be just, let us be generous to each other. I believe in 
the gospel of intelligence. That is the only lever capable 
of raising mankind. Intelligence must be the savior of the 
world. [Applause.] Humanity is the grand religion. And 
no God can put a man into Hell in anoti r world who has 
made a little heaven in this. [Applause.] God cannot 
make miserable a man who has made somebody else happy. 
God cannot hate anybody who is capable of loving his 
neighbor. So I believe in this great gospel of generosity. 
Ah, but they say, it won't do. You must believe. I say no. 
My gospel of health will prolong life ; my gospel of intelli- 
gence, my gospel of loving, my gospel of good-fellowship 
will cover the world with happy homes. My doctrine will 
put carpets upon your floors, pictures upon your walls. My 
doctrine will put books upon your shelves, ideas in your 
mind. My doctrine will relieve the world of the abnormal 
monsters born ofthe ignorance of superstition. My doctrine 
will give us health, wealth, and happiness. That is what I 
want. That is what I believe in. [Applause.] Give us 
intelhgence, and in a little while a man will find that he 
cannot steal without robbing himself; he will find that he 
cannot murder without assassinating his ow:j joy. He will 
find that 



W//a/ Must We Do to Be Saved? 33 

EVERY CRIME IS A MISTAKR. 

He will find that only that man carries a cross who does 
wrong, and for the man who does right the cross changes 
into wings on his shoulders and bears him upwards forever. 
He will find that intelligent self-love embraces within its 
mighty arms all the human race. [Applause.] Ah, but 
they say to me, you take away immortality. I do not. If 
we are immortal, it is a fact in nature. We are not indebted 
to priests for it, nor to bibles for it, and it cannot be destroyed 
by unbelief. As long as we love we will hope to live, and 
when one dies we will say we hope to meet again. [Ap- 
plause.] And whether we do or not, it will not be the work 
ol theology. It will be a fact in nature. I would not, for 
my life, destroy one star of human hope ; but I want it so, 
that when a poor woman rocks the cradle and sings a lullaby 
to the dimpled darling, she will not be compelled to beli^^ e 
that ninety-nine chances in a hundred she is making kindling- 
wood for hell. [Laughter and applause.] 

One world at a time. That is my doctrine. [Applause.] 
It is saiJ in this Testament, *' Sufficient unto the day is the 
evil thereof." And I say, sufficient unto the world is the 
evil thereof. And suppose, after all, that death does end 
all. Next to eternal joy, next to being forever with those 
we love and those who have loved us, next to that is to be 
wrapped in the dreamless drapery of eternal peace. [Ap- 
plause.] Next to eternal life is eternal death. [Applause.] 
Upon the shadowy shore of death the 

SEA OF TROUBLE CASTS NO WAVE. 

Eyes that have been curtained by the everlasting dark will 
never know again the'touch of tears. Lips that have been 
touched by the eternal silence will never utter another word 
of grief. Hearts of dust do not break. The dead do not 
weep. And I had rather think of those I have loved, and 
those I have lost, as having returned to earth, as having be- 
come a part of the elemental wealth of tb^ world. I would 
rather think of them as unconscious dust. I would rather 
think of them as gurgling in the stream, floating in the 
cloud, bursting into light upon the shores of worlds. I 
would rather think of them thus than to have even a suspi- 



34 IV/iaf Must We Do to Be Saved? 

cion that their souls had been chitched by an orthodox God. 
[Great applause.] But for me I will leave the dead where 
nature leaves them, and whatever flower of hope springs up 
in my heart I will cherish. But I cannot believe that there 
is any being in this universe who has created a soul for 
eternal pain, and I would rather that every God would de- 
stroy himself, I would rather that we all should go back to 
the eternal chaos, to the black and starless night, than that 
just one soul should suffer eternal agony. [Great applause.] 
I have made up my mind that if there is a God He will be 
merciful to the merciful. Upon that rock I stand. [Ap- 
plause.] That he will forgive the forgiving ; upon that rock 
I stand. That every man should be true to himself, and 
that there is no world, no star, in which honesty is a crime ; 
and upon that rock I stand. An honest man, a good, kind, 
sweet woman, or a happy child, has nothing to fear, neither 
in this world nor in the world to come ; and upon that rock 
I stand. [Loud applause.] 





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